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The Best Wine Bars In Canberra


Few things in life can top a glass of fine wine. Complex, unique, indulgent, and simply delicious, a good wine truly is a taste sensation.

One of the best ways to sample a range of wines is by visiting a wine bar. These bars specialise in fine wine, offering up a diverse, ever-changing collection of both local and international wine. Some serve up starters and meals alongside their drinks, and others keep it simple. Either way, when you discover an incredible wine bar, you’ll find yourself coming back again and again.

If you are looking to sample a range of wines in the Canberra region, you’ve come to the right place. We asked Canberra locals to share their favourite wine bars, and the results are in.

Let’s get started right away.

What makes an excellent wine bar?

So much goes into making a fantastic wine bar. On your hunt, we suggest keeping a sharp eye out for the following traits:

  • An exciting range of wines. You head to a wine bar to sample the finest wines on the market, right? So, the very first thing to keep a lookout for is the wine menu. It should be diverse and exciting, containing a mix of local, national, and international labels.
  • Staff with expertise. If you’d like to learn more about the wine you are drinking, the bar staff should be able to help. They should have the expertise needed to answer any of your questions.
  • Lively atmosphere. The atmosphere is essential. No one wants to enjoy a glass of wine in a quiet, empty bar.
  • Great food. If they serve food, it better be good.

The top wine bars in Canberra according to you

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Without further ado, here are the top wine bars in Canberra according to the region’s local residents.


What’s better than a glass of wine? A glass of wine and a fresh, wood-fired pizza. Bacaro is an authentically Italian pizza and wine bar accessed through an unsuspecting laneway. Grab a seat at the chic marble bar, or kick-back and relax on a low-slung stool. Enjoy a pizza or generous bowl of fresh-made pasta or indulge in other delicacies. Choose from a mouth-watering selection of antipasti, including cheese boards and house-made salumi.

Hippo Co.

Tucked away in the heart of Canberra is Hippo Co., a boutique whiskey, wine, and cocktail bar that serves up some of the finest drinks in the region. The atmosphere is both classy and cosy, with exposed brick walls and warm, dim lighting. Live blues music on Monday and jazz on Wednesday add to the cool yet sophisticated vibe. Sit back, enjoy a glass of top-quality vino, and indulge in a little banter. Or, get a group of friends together and get behind the bar yourself with the Hippo Co. Cocktail Masterclass. How good is that?

Bar Rochford

Hidden in the iconic Melbourne Building is Bar Rochford, a local hotspot known for its stellar food, exciting wines, and killer jams. The interior is classic and minimalist, combining raw materials with fine leathers. Both the food and wine menu change regularly – the team behind Bar Rochford is passionate about using in-season produce to develop unique culinary creations. One visit certainly isn’t enough.

Who did you pick?

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback, if you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you visited any of the wine bars listed above? How was your experience? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments area below.

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142 Responses to The Best Wine Bars In Canberra
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Duke Duke 10:37 am 16 Apr 08

My local has become Soul Bar in Woden – good atmosphere, good clientele and miles ahead of anything else in the area (which is mostly clubs).

That Russian bar on Northbourne, Kremlin I think, is also a nice place as is Banara 1 if you’re in a more yuppie mood. Wig & Pen in Civic for quality beers and Phoenix Bar if you want a place to hide.

Places to avoid, oh where does one start? Any place with ‘Jack Lives Here’ signs on the windows, any place that holds more than 100 people, any place with drink specials, any place where groups of sporting teams drink.

wagons wagons 10:41 am 16 Apr 08

Knightsbridge, Trinity, George Harcourt’s Inn, Edgars, Kremlin, Hippo Bar – the only places to go really for the over 30s…I used to love all bar nun, but with the renovations it has lost all soul.

Duke Duke 10:42 am 16 Apr 08

Oh and i’ve yet to find a single decent place to drink in Tuggeranong.

dr. faustus dr. faustus 10:47 am 16 Apr 08


No, seriously. It’s more fun than a trip to the zoo (although with a slightly higher risk of some ape throwing faeces at you). Just remember to wear your stab-proof vest and thoroughly disinfect afterwards.

More seriously, as for bars, Julip Lounge in Manuka is a great spot for cocktails, if a little pricey. It’s the sort of place that Canberra has something of a shortage of.

My favourite bar/pub in Canberra is my local, but I’m not going to mention it, because I don’t want you bastards ruining it for me! 🙂

Stainless Steel Rat Stainless Steel Rat 10:58 am 16 Apr 08

Dropped by the Trinity Bar in Tuggeranong a few weeks ago. Good cocktails, Beez Kneez on tap and really friendly staff. They had a DJ playing music and volume was good, you could still hear people talking.

Mælinar Mælinar 10:58 am 16 Apr 08

Filthy McFaddens. Still not cleaned since it opened, stinks of old spew and spilt beer, like a pub should.

Has more whiskey and scotch labels than you can point a stick at, and the Guinness is kept fresh by the incumbents. They also stock cider on tap if you have a deathwish.

It now comes with more tradition, since they cleaned up some of the other crappy old bars around the place, and got more modern. Last time I was in the Phoenix I could actually see from one end of the bar to the other, which was a first for me – I think they may have changed some old blown lightbulbs.

Thumper Thumper 11:08 am 16 Apr 08

Durham Arms, Pot Belly….

Duke Duke 11:09 am 16 Apr 08

Hey what’s the deal with these trendy wannabe bars like Trinity giving you little silver dishes with your change? I must have over 100 of them at home – 5 ashtrays for every room. I’ve started giving them back and say nah mate, i’ve got enough of these things already, and they just give me this weird look – wassup with that???

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 11:15 am 16 Apr 08

Regular drinking hole was the Kurrajong on a friday afternoon but they have been in freefall in terms of quality and price for a few months. Most of the former staff have left, even the regular the band seems to be avoiding the place. We migrated to Das Kapital at Narrabundah reasonably priced drinks, good tapas and nice atmosphere.

Heavs Heavs 11:19 am 16 Apr 08

Edgars is pretty top notch.

Worst would have to be All Bar – Hero Heaven is what we call it now. I hope Edgars never goes that way – I remember when Allbar used to be a good little place for a drink, now I refuse to step in the door.

VicePope VicePope 11:35 am 16 Apr 08

Wig and Pen. Creative beer in a (mostly) quiet place. Limited menu of stuff suitable for consumption with beer – it could do with an update. No pokies. No music. No TV. Friendly staff.

Oh, and I dropped into Mooseheads recently during the day because someone suggested we meet there. Not bad at all, and I might go back for lunch sometime. If there was a curse on the place, it may have dissipated. It’s still noisy when I go past on nights late in the week, but the crowd then would average but a small fraction of my vast age and probably appreciate such things.

What this town needs is something like Madam FlingFlong’s in Newtown (Sydney, not any of the others). Quiet, ambient music, temperature cool, comfortable lounge chairs, somewhat decadent deco.

Stainless Steel Rat Stainless Steel Rat 11:43 am 16 Apr 08

Duke said :

Hey what’s the deal with these trendy wannabe bars like Trinity giving you little silver dishes with your change? I must have over 100 of them at home – 5 ashtrays for every room. I’ve started giving them back and say nah mate, i’ve got enough of these things already, and they just give me this weird look – wassup with that???

No idea Duke,

I must say I got amusement out of going into Trinity on a Friday night at 9pm wearing an Iron Maiden t-shirt though. Kinda why I give them the thumbs up, they didn’t care I wasn’t quite so trendy, and still gave great service!

stereo henry stereo henry 11:48 am 16 Apr 08

Parlour, which is owned by the Knightsbridge mob, that has just opened in the bottom of the New Acton complex on Edinbrugh Ave has a good vibe and serves tapas until 2.00am – and I here I was thinking you’d never be able to get a meal after 9.00pm in Canberra 🙂

Thumper Thumper 12:03 pm 16 Apr 08

Yeah, Kurrajong was nice, especially in spring…

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 12:06 pm 16 Apr 08

Tulip Lounge for smart cocktails, Filthy’s for hard drinking, that front bar at the Mawson Club for casual Sunday arvo beers, Debarcle for a beer and somthing to eat.

What I want to know is where are the manky places with sticky floors and bar-flys that we used to have years ago – like that dive that was underground in the plaza at Woden, the underground cess-pit in Civic that was open ’till dawn – near Happys – was it called the Subway? and the Stockade in Braddon …

Tixylix Tixylix 12:16 pm 16 Apr 08

Ingee… the Basement in Belconnen may have that mank factor that you are looking for. The floor isn’t that sticky but the dunny sure does smell. The Bogan Basement, as I lovingly refer to it, is a fine bogan bar, such a shame that the tap beer has no bubbles, otherwise the place is perfect for beer and pool and bogan bands.

trilobite trilobite 12:17 pm 16 Apr 08

Old Canberra Inn during winter, Edgar’s Inn during summer and the Durham Arms when I can’t go without a pint of Zierholz.

Don’t go near Moosehead’s, All Bar Nun or Babar’s.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 12:27 pm 16 Apr 08

The Basement in Belconnen you say … stale, flat beer from rusty pipes …. I’m getting all misty eyed with nostalgia! Is the barman surly in the kind of way that only happens when you interrupt someone reading a form guide, are the glasses badly washed and the crisps passed their use-by date?

Like someone said, the smell of stale beer and vomit is what defines a bar sometimes and that’s not always a bad thing … on the other hand anything that pretends to be an Irish pub should be avoided at all costs.

bonfire bonfire 12:50 pm 16 Apr 08


for a pub – wig and pen.

lemaChet lemaChet 12:51 pm 16 Apr 08

Has to be Moby Dicks for sure.

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